It’s got to be tough to try and run a business that’s based on opinion and yet, you want to make sure that those opinions only use facts. Well, that’s the position Twitter finds itself in. More and more, social media seems to be clamping down on political talk (thank you for keeping speech free, WordPress!). And in Twitter’s case, it’s become rather inconsistent at best, seeing as who’s in charge of deciding whether something is “right” or “wrong”, abusive or not, is rather politically motivated.
The guy in charge of “fact-checking” Twitter, a guy named Yoel Roth, called Donald Trump “crazy” in his own tweet, yet wouldn’t let Trump use that word, declaring it to be “offensive”. He also was known to have called Trump “a nazi”. Now, how unbiased is this guy going to be? He’s a dyed-in-the-wool Hillary Clinton supporter and suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome. And, the amazing part is, he still has a job.
The latest escapade began when Donald Trump sent out a tweet regarding mail-in ballots as a way for the entire country to run this fall’s campaign. Trump’s objection, as with most Republicans, is that mail-in ballots are open much more to fraud than with using machines to record the votes. Vote harvesting, where someone comes by your house and picks up your ballot for you “to deliver it” to the ballot box, is common. All too often, those folks do more than just “deliver” the ballot. In tight races, the ballot may never get to the ballot box if they find that you’ve voted for the “wrong” candidate.
Also, mail-in voting doesn’t allow for anyone to see that the person that should be voting actually is voting. Instead, it could be anyone! There is nothing that says that anyone is actually watching the person that should be using that ballot fill out that ballot. And how often have we seen sack-fulls of ballots appear after a very close election a day or two late because they were “stuffed in a closet at the Elections Department somewhere”?
Look, the whole mail-in ballot thing is a stupid idea. If you feel you could get COVID-19 because you went to the polls, then REQUEST an absentee ballot. That’s different than everyone getting a mail-in ballot.
And for Twitter to label Trump’s tweet with “Get The Facts About Mail-In Voting” and a hyperlink. That prompted a firestorm. Actually, what Trump said was right, and Roth’s comments were out of line.
Trump’s response was, admittedly, a little over the line, threatening to “shut Twitter down” if they didn’t stop playing partisan politics. Really, there’s very little that Trump can do without Congress on that one. But he can regulate an industry to death. That’s something I think Twitter should think through very carefully before proceeding. Otherwise, they may wake up one morning to find that everything they are censoring or deeming as inappropriate may just have to have a government stamp of approval before going out!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!